LGBT protesters arrested at Boehner office
June 13th, 2013
07:41 PM ET
10 years ago

LGBT protesters arrested at Boehner office

(CNN) – Police arrested members of an LGBT group on Thursday during a protest outside of House Speaker John Boehner's district office on Capitol Hill.

The activists who were handcuffed and taken into custody are affiliated with GetEQUAL action, the same lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organization that disrupted the first lady's DNC event last week.

The LGBT group is demanding federal employment protection for gay, lesbian and transgendered workers and is calling on Boehner to move forward with a vote on related legislation.

"We are somebody! We deserve full equality! Right here! Right now!" the group chanted outside Boehner's office in the Longworth House Office Building.

After several warnings, U.S. Capitol Police arrived with plastic handcuffs and removed the activists. Eight people were arrested, police said.

CNN spoke exclusively to the group as they gathered at a nearby hotel before marching to Capitol Hill.

Preparing for arrest, members of the group received legal counsel and even wrote an attorney's phone number on their skin with a marker before marching.

"We are here today because there are currently no federal workplace protections for LGBT folks in the United States of America, which we believe is wrong. If you live in a state where there are no protections you can literally be fired for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered," said Ohio resident and Iraq War Veteran Sean Watkins.

"The president of the United States of America in 2008 promised us an executive order protecting federal contractors and anybody who does business with the federal government workplace protections for LGBT folks, he hasn't done that and continues to punt to Congress."

President Barack Obama hosted a LGBT Pride Month event on Thursday at the White House.

Filed under: Gay rights • John Boehner
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. Seyedibar

    No group deserves employment protection in the current economy. Do your job well, and don't work in an environment you find hostile. Can't find a market for your skills? Create one or get new skills. Can't find work where you are? Move. Hate your boss? Get a new one or be your own.
    If someone puts time and money into building a business from the ground up, they should be allowed to cater whatever work environment they please, even if it's obnoxious/primitive/unhealthy to certain subsections of the country.

    June 13, 2013 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  2. robert

    where is freedom of speech? arrest people for asking for equal rights! one day we will have the same rights as other people! once it was you doing this to blacks, that has changed. This to will change. would love to see the day that gays have the rights, and str8 people don't. then she who those of you who treated us wrong would be treated the same way!
    one day there will be an uprising in the US and things will change!

    June 13, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  3. AnniBSweet

    What exactly were they arrested for? Are the American people no longer allowed to assemble and voice their displeasure?

    June 13, 2013 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  4. jon

    Good for them!

    June 13, 2013 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  5. KevininPHX

    Good luck with that. It should be readily apparent. John Boehner cares about one person and one person only, John Boehner.

    June 13, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  6. Asitis

    Gay people thrive in the United States where they are free to practice their lifestyle. In countries like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Pakistan, Sudan, Afghanistan UAE, Somalia, Libya, Oman, and Qatar gay people are murdered or put into prison.

    Being free in the United States is not good enough for gay people. They want to push their lifestyle by giving gays special status so they are treated better/superior to others. This special better than everyone else legal status needs to stop.

    June 13, 2013 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  7. joesmith

    it's called pass the buck, and as we all know, the buck doesn't stop anywhere in this administration.because it's georges' fault..

    June 13, 2013 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  8. Woman In California

    How does this group of people (LGBT), expect to be accepted and get bills passed if they keep bullying and interrupting everyone who might be able to help them? It MIGHT help them to look at past footage and read materials on the Civil Rights Movement. Black people (at least back then), were intelligent to know you can't disrupt, bully, antagonize and try to humilitate those who you seek support from. Continuing this childish behavior won't accomplish anything and pretty soon, those who are in a position to help are going to get fed-up and rightfully so.

    June 13, 2013 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  9. TomNPitt

    This is destined to be an ugly chapter in America. it's really just beginning. Our children and Grand children will look back at this time and wonder, what were they thinking?

    June 13, 2013 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  10. Catmandew

    Good luck gettin Obama to remember his promise to your group! You have to keep in mind that the election is over and to keep his promise he would have to do his JOB! That is something he can not do for the people that elected and pay him. He is too busy campaigning again anyway up in Mass. for the dem seat opened up by Kerry. He would have to govern and have a backbone to keep his word, Obama has neither one of those.

    June 13, 2013 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  11. Catmandew

    Hey why are they at Boehner's office anyway? He isn't the one that made empty promises on this one! Obama made the empty promises so go to his office and protest to your hearts content. Obama never intended to keep those promises anyways. It would require Obama to do his job, not gonna happen!

    June 13, 2013 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  12. dean morse

    Federal recognition has been long overdue for gay American taxpaying citizens. Frankly, It is unbelievable that it has gone on being ignored this long. It is clearly discriminatory and will undoubtable be declared unlawful by the Supreme Court. I will be filing a lawsuit against the federal government for all my last 30 years of income tax filings that were not being allowed to file jointly with my partner. Wanna bet that I win?

    June 13, 2013 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  13. Sheryl Mexic

    Violence is never the answer.

    June 13, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  14. LaVonna

    That is because there is no place for this type of behavior. I find it very difficult to understand why LGBT's want to shove their way of life onto a general public that does not want nor approve of their life style. Just because the government or a liberal judge says it is alright does not change GOD'S word, or make it right in my eyes.

    June 13, 2013 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  15. rick

    If the president promised this then why aren't they protesting outside the White House too?

    June 13, 2013 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  16. popseal

    The temporary pop culture is afraid of opposing the perversions forced on it by this LGBT march. The slanders they throw only condemn their rage. The Scouts for example have left the Baptist that so often helped them. Now the reverse is the media cowtow. Be sure our sins will finds us out and all the Three Monkey Media coverage will not change the fact. If the perversions aren't perversions, why would they care that I think like I do? They rage like the atheists on that other topic. Why would they care that I repented and now trust Christ for redemption?

    June 13, 2013 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  17. Brown

    Most states are at will employment, translates into being released without cause.. Just because across the board, so why should you be any different ? You are asking for unequivocal guarantee .. There are none. It is extremely disrespectful to have one group believe they are better and deserve more that the rest of the population, to heckle the First Lady..
    The hostile activity does not help your cause, and we are sooooo tired of the whining..

    June 13, 2013 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  18. Jim

    THEY... yes THEY.. are their own worst enemies.. they do a disservice to their cause; and it is a cause. Forgive me for being politically incorrect but I support civil unions and all the legal rights associated with that human/emotional bond/commitment but, as a Christian and a Scientist, STOP ALREADY! You have and should have all the rights of married adults/couples but please don't shove your life style as normal down our throats! You are exceptions to human biology/science and pro creation and welcome in the Lords house as his children but don't ever attempt to convince your Father and this world that we must bend religion to accept your intellectual anomaly as "normal" behavior. You are welcome in God's home and we support your rights as members of the human race but, don't, DON'T, force that lifestyle acceptance on my family or my children. God Bless!!

    June 13, 2013 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  19. Deez

    The tide is shifting. Time for that forceful push to make sure the snowball keeps going!

    June 13, 2013 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  20. Asitis

    Gays and Lesbians have as much work or more than anyone else. They want to have more and better jobs than everyone else just because they think they are superior. That is wrong. All Americans are equal. Gays and Lesbians are not better than everyone else.

    June 13, 2013 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  21. Jim g

    These protesters are wasting their time protesting at Boehner's office. They need to protest someone who actually does something in DC. Boehner is actually an astronaut, since he is just taking up space there now. That and a hefty salary, great retirement and health care for life. And of course, you never hear anything about cutting any of their pay or benefits, do you

    June 13, 2013 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  22. Alfonzo

    Protection from what!? why do these people always act like they are a victim. You get treated just like anyone else, except if you act like an azz, idiot, moron, crappy worker, etc and get treated back like one, all ya ever do is scream discrimination. Act like a civilized, mature responsible person and you won't have any problems.

    June 13, 2013 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  23. enuff

    I could care less about a person's orientation. These people are getting out of hand with their rudeness and contempt for others. Perhaps they should actually look up the true definition of tolerance, which is NOT just agree with me.

    June 13, 2013 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  24. BBQ man

    Since the protestors did not have a couple hundred thousand US$$$ for BOeNER's re-erection campaign, they were arrested. Next time, they should show up with a bag full of monopoly money and see what happens......

    June 13, 2013 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  25. Michael Benjamin

    America, the land of the free and the home of the police state.

    June 13, 2013 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
1 2 3 4